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News | Feb. 7, 2023

Black History Month Employee Spotlight: Da'Laine Simpson

By Kylie Young, DLA Distribution EEO Assistant

In honor of Black History Month, Defense Logistics Agency Distribution spotlights Da’Laine Simpson, a distribution process worker at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.

Simpson has worked at DLA Distribution Susquehanna since 2008. While working at DDSP, he has become the President of AFGE Local 2004 and started the non-profit organization Bro2Go.

“In 2017, like Martin Luther King Jr., I too, had a dream,” Simpson said. “I started a non-profit organization called Bro2Go, which helps formerly incarcerated adults and at-risk youth. We offer one-on-one mentoring and make sure they have all the essential tools and life skills that they will need to succeed. We currently serve Dauphin, York, and Cumberland counties in Pennsylvania and are looking to further expand within the state and other cities in the U.S.”

Simpson believes that it is extremely important to recognize Black History Month because it is a time to reflect and recognize the important achievements African American leaders have made throughout history.

“Black History Month is a time to reflect and remember the great African American leaders of yesteryear. Not just leaders from our past, but the ones that are here today as well. It is important that DLA recognizes Black History Month to remind the nation of the important roles that we as Black people played in the success of this nation. People forget and it is easy to forget things that have taken place over time.”

A common misconception about Black History that Simpson would like to correct is that Black History did not start when African Americans were brought into the Americas as slaves.

“Our history did not just start when we were brought to this country against our will in captivity. We were MUCH, MUCH MORE than that! We were involved in the starting of the civilized nations of the ancient world. The Americas were not our beginning."

When asked what the hardest part of discussing race issues in America was for him, Simpson stated that, “The hardest part is that whenever you raise the issue of race today, people immediately perceive you as a racist. However, racism cannot be defeated if it’s not talked about. Change can only occur when conversations happen.”

While it is important to Simpson for DLA to recognize Black History Month, it is also important to him that the DLA Distribution workforce remembers that there is still room for improvement.

“The work for all of us, regardless of race is not done. The things that the Black Trailblazers and the Black Freedom Fighters stood for, many of those same problems and hurdles still exist today.”